You probably think that by now you’ve got this breathing thing down, but I’d like to share with you a little technique that could have a dramatic impact on your overall health, and it won’t cost you a cent.
The technique is simple: inhale for a count of 4 and exhale for a count of 8. Essentially, you are exhaling twice as long as you inhale. Pretty simple.
Your nervous system has two parts. The Sympathetic nervous system is your “fight or flight” system, while your Parasympathetic nervous system calms you down. It’s known as the “rest and digest” nervous system.
The problem is that most people in this fallen, stress-filled world, are in a constant state of “fight or flight.” This shows up in many areas of their lives. They are constantly “stressed-out,” and I see this clinically as someone whose shoulders are tight, or their breath is very shallow. They aren’t breathing deeply from their diaphragm.
So, here is part of the solution: Make it a regular habit of doing this deep breathing exercise whereby you inhale for a count of 4 or 5 and exhale for a count of 8 or 10. Simply exhale for twice the count as you inhale.
Any time you feel stressed out, it’s appropriate to take in several breaths this way. I suggest doing this for 10 respirations before you get out of bed, and before you go to sleep. Other times that you could do this might be every time you come to a stop sign or stop light, or any other trigger that you can design to get yourself into the habit.
Give it a try and let me know how it affects your stress levels.